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Dutch Oven Chili with Cornbread Topping

Fall has certainly arrived at camp and with it cold nighttime temperatures! Hearty stews and chilis are always a hit during this season and here at Camp CDA the idea of a warming dinner enjoyed around the campfire is why fall camping is our favorite time of year.

Once again we turn to our friends at Fresh off the Grid for their version of an amazing vegetarian chile cooked up in the dutch oven, one of our favorite cooking methods. They add the cornbread directly on top to cook over the chili and it is suddenly a one-dish wonder, one of our other favorite things!

Serving vegetarian chili cooked in a Dutch oven on the campfire

Even if are a meat-eater, I would suggest you give this version a try. The heartiness of the chili belies the lack of meat. But if you simply must have meat~ never fear. While sauteeing the onions and veg just brown up some ground beef as well and dinner is on.


1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans,
1 (14.5 oz) can kidney
beans, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced
1 (4 oz) can diced green
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey

Cooking beans and vegetables in a Dutch oven over a campfire for vegetarian chili


1. In a 10”/4 qt Dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onion in oil until soft
and just beginning to turn golden about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spices
and saute for 1 minute. Add the beans, tomatoes, chiles, and tomato paste, stir
to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

2. In the meantime, prepare the cornbread batter. Mix all the dry ingredients in a
medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the milk, egg, and honey and mix
until a batter forms.

3. Move Dutch oven over indirect heat to reduce bubbling. Pour the batter over
the chili as evenly as possible, then cover the Dutch oven with a lid and
shovel embers or coals onto the top. You’re going for a temperature of
approx. 400-425F.

4. Bake until the cornbread has cooked through and is no longer wet in the
center, about 20 minutes.

5. Serve with your favorite chili toppings & enjoy!

Dutch oven chili and cornbread in a bowl

We promise you won’t be disappointed! Go ahead and try this dish at home or on your next camping trip.

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